Wednesday, August 24, 2016

8/24 Totem pole, barge overturns, seal escape, Padilla Bay upgrade, ferry food

Elwha nearshore 8/20/16 (Dave Parks/Coastal Watershed Institute)
Lummi totem pole honors fight against oil, coal industries
Some 100 local environmental activists, Lummi Nation members and others participated in a blessing ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 23, for a totem pole that honors the struggle against expansion of the oil and coal industry into tribal lands across the West…. The House of Tears totem, which depicts an eagle, bear, wolf and a tribal medicine woman, will travel by truck some 5,000 miles to locations across the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where it will be displayed. Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Barge overturns in Salmon Bay 
A barge filled with gravel overturned Tuesday morning in  Salmon Bay, but there were no injuries. According to Seattle police and the Coast Guard, the barge was at its home port at the Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Company in the 5200 block of Shilshole Avenue Northwest when it was reported to have overturned around 7 a.m. No one was injured, and there was no pollution damage, the Coast Guard said. Christine Clarridge reports. (Seattle Times)

Seattle grain exporter to pay $699,000 to settle lawsuit
A Dutch corporation that exports grain from the Port of Seattle has agreed to pay $699,000 to settle allegations by an environmental group that the company violated the Clean Water Act by spilling grain into Elliott Bay. The Louis Dreyfus Co. also will modify its pier and conveyance system to prevent spills while unloading rail cars and loading vessels, according to a consent decree that must be approved by a federal judge. The settlement would be the second-largest ever won by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, which filed the citizen lawsuit in 2014. Don Jenkins reports. (Capital Press)

If you like to watch: Seal hides on tour boat to escape hungry orcas
A seal hitched a ride on a whale-watching boat off the coast of Vancouver Island to escape a pod of hungry orcas who were hunting him. Nick Templeman, who runs Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, was taking a tour group out for a whale-watching trip, when he stopped the boat in an area he expected to be a good spot to see transient killer whales that day. After 30 minutes of watching orcas, he noticed the whales suddenly went into their hunting mode. That's when he noticed something else: a seal, seeking safety on the back of his boat's swim grid. Jacqueline Hansen reports. (CBC)

State to upgrade Padilla Bay shellfish area
The state Department of Health is preparing to upgrade a 150-acre commercial shellfish growing area in north Padilla Bay thanks to improved water quality. The growing area, on the south side of Samish Island, has been closed November through January for several years because of high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria found in the water during those months, said Scott Berbells, Department of Health Office of Shellfish and Water Protection growing areas supervisor. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Local ferry food vendor seeks governor’s help to stay in business
A Bremerton company that serves food on Washington ferries is imploring Gov. Jay Inslee to stop a large multinational corporation from replacing them after an unsuccessful attempt to block the switch in court. Olympic Cascade Services has been the largest vendor on state ferries since 2005, but was outbid for a new contract earlier this year by Centerplate, which caters in Washington at the Tacoma Dome and Safeco Field in Seattle. Nove Meyers, president of Olympic Cascade, maintains the bidding process with Washington State Ferries was unfair and has sued in an effort to force a redo. But a panel of judges in Washington’s Court of Appeals delivered a big blow to Olympic Cascade’s chances Monday by not continuing an injunction barring WSF from signing a contract with the Connecticut-based Centerplate. Walker Orenstein reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  858 AM PDT WED AUG 24 2016  

TODAY
 NE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 3 FT  AT 7 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING E AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS.

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